Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Robert Bohl

Pages: [1] 2 3
AW:Dark Age / Thoughts while reading
« on: March 16, 2014, 02:26:04 PM »
  • I love Go Into Battle move. I can't wait to see it in action.
  • It's interesting to me that Draw Someone Out puts some perceptual power in Hot. I'm guessing it's so Sharp isn't so much of a double dip, and the name of the move suggests a way to color the outcomes so it doesn't just feel like perception, but there's unavoidably a perceptual element to it.
  • I feel like the names of the moves in this version are much clearer in indicating what triggers them.
  • If you get the middling result for praying, the gods tell you whether they will or will not accept your offering. I interpret that to mean that they might accept your offering but you won't know whether or not they'll tell you anything for it, or they'll reject and maybe if you try a different offering you might get lucky and get what you want. I'm comfortable with the latter interpretation, but the latter makes me uncomfortable. So basically, what do you think a middling result means here?
  • I really like the helping rules, how they bump you up a success category. Very satisfying design. Same with damage / Fates. I can' twait to see this in play. It's so much more engaging than the harm clock for me.
  • I love the way the world's history has been included throughout but not in a very aggressive way. It kinda reminds me of the way the world is suggested in Burning Wheel, only more directed and important. Great shit. In fact, the two Common Knowledge pages have me all geeking out and shit. I love the Ranks, the different Genealogies, etc. And, of course, there's a huge section on fashion!
  • I appreciate his making a world where he explicitly states that girls can be warriors and non-"white" people are present. I suspect Vincent had in his mind cutting short the hundreds of people who will see "Dark Age" in the title and get all shitty about what's "historically accurate." Good move!
  • I love, love, love the monster creator.
  • The new XP system is neat too. Eager to see how it plays out. I think I like it more. I definitely have the tendency in AW to try to achieve everything through my highlighted stats. This thing where you're pushed to use your whole sheet is cool and I think I'll like it more.
  • I sound like a broken record, but Oaths are really cool and I can't wait to see them in play.
  • I think I want to play every one of these playbooks, but I'm MCing! Alack and alas!
  • Interesting that, with the focus gender got in AW there isn't even a place to put it on the sheets I've read so far (again, unless I missed it).
  • It seems like having everything but one thing in want will be a pain in the ass for the MC to track, especially if more than one person gets it. I suppose the directive is to focus on the things that interest you.
  • Is there any benefit to having a lower Rank?
  • Cool, Hot, and Weird (and maybe Sharp), as names for stats, feel anachronistic to me in this game.
  • The equipment / magic item list for the Troll-Hunter is super-fun too. Lots of grist there.
  • Does use of the Wolfpack move by a character mean that the MC must introduce someone who doesn't want to follow the order? I really like the loyalty system inside of this move.
  • Interesting (and in keeping with Vincent's design style) that PCs can't be forced to love anyone by a Charm. Of course, the ceremonial equivalent is predictably badass.
  • Now I feel the need to design a Sharp-focused playbook. Maybe that jester archetype I wanted to play? Sharp goes well with a general courtier sort of concept. Especially in these stories, having a non-noble schemer who cannot be noble is fun.

Apocalypse World / Re: Choosing names from the list
« on: September 22, 2011, 11:47:34 AM »
PS: Speaking of "would again," I wanna MC AW for our group when we're done with the current Human Contact game.

Apocalypse World / Re: Choosing names from the list
« on: September 22, 2011, 11:46:14 AM »
That inspiration element is why I was mildly pushing for choosing from the list (and probably would do so in the future).

I tend to be that way as a rule. I like to go where the system constraints force me.

Apocalypse World / Treepocalypse Fronts (spoilers for the series)
« on: April 06, 2011, 02:46:19 PM »
NOTE: If you're playing in this game, reading this thread will make you sad. I recommend against it.

So, I wrote up my first Front for the Treepocalypse game. I'd welcome any comments or ideas.

The customers

* Expresses: Hunger
* Dark future/agenda: If the Rout's cast and crew don't cope with the ravening needs of its customers, Dickson is going to be merely managing something he used to own. That is, if the Rout is left standing.
* Description & cast: The customers (past, present, and future) of the Route. Includes Rolfball, Toyota, Ba, and the blacklist of former clients and those who wish to be.
* Stakes questions
  • Will the protagonists have to kill Ba?
  • What did Rolfball do to Balls & Absinthe's sister
  • Will the blacklisters crack open the Rout?

Threat 1: Rolfball
Kind: Warlord (alpha wolf)
Impulse: hunt and dominate
Description & cast: 7' tall, missing most of his teath, gravelly voice. Leads a biker gang of "plant zombies," who are based out of the Gorge. There are about a dozen hard, well-armed thugs. Rolfball himself carries a sawed-off (3-harm, close, reload, messy) and armor-1.
Custom move: none yet
  • 12-3: Subtle threats
  • 3-6: Indirect moves against the Rout: supplies disrupted, ill-will raised
  • 6-9: Direct threats
  • 9-10: Seizing and murdering customers
  • 10-11: The Rout under siege
  • 11-12: Direct assault and takeover of the Rout

Threat 2: Toyota
Kind: Grotesque (pain addict)
Impulse: craves pain, its own or others'
Description & cast: Slim, 30s, friendly/slick, hidden knives (2-harm hand infinite)
Custom move: none yet
  • 12-3: Rothschild, a working girl, complains about him again.
  • 3-6: Toyota flirts with a PC
  • 6-9: Propositions a PC for sex
  • 9-10: Murder an NPC
  • 10-11: Spread lies and disinformation about the Rout
  • 11-12: Murder a PC in their sleep

Threat 3: Ba
Kind: Grotesque (disease vector)
Impulse: craves contact, intimate and/or anonymous
Description & cast: A kind, friendly, old, white-haired, dark-skinned man. He travels the world collecting little bits of treasure from before the trees. He trades these in to feed his compulsive sexual appetite with prostitutes, and as a result now has syphilis (though he doesn't know it). He's always got 2 oddments of 1-barter each to trade with.
Custom move: none yet
  • 12-3: Ba starts frequenting the Rout more than usual
  • 3-6: The workers are turning up sick
  • 6-9: The clients are turning up sick
  • 9-10: A PC gets sick
  • 10-11: Ba knows about his illness and is hiding it
  • 11-12: Ba betrays the Rout to save himself

Threat 4: The blacklist
Kind: Brutes (sybarites)
Impulse: to consume someone's resources
Description & cast: Assorted former clients who have been blackmailed, as well as people who want to be clients but haven't been let in.
Custom move: none yet
  • 12-3: Supplies are interrupted
  • 3-6: A rowdy gang shows up late at night demanding entrance
  • 6-9: The people who know how to invite people to the Rout are showing up dead
  • 9-10: Ula, who was definitively banned, returns and demands entrance
  • 10-11: Total blockade of supplies
  • 11-12: The blacklist is invited in as the Rout loses its exclusivity and secrecy.

Apocalypse World / Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« on: April 06, 2011, 02:18:58 PM »
My unanswered "I wonders":

* Where does the Rout get food and other supplies from?
* Which of the prostitutes is a chiseler, taking advantage of Dickson's kindness?
* What rivalries are there between the working boys and girls?
* Why did the fish people take Mimi?
* What did Rolfball do to make him think he set up Dickson?
* Who harbors resentment over the nepotistic way control of the Rout was transferred?
* What does Been think he'll get out of the Rout?


And I'm about to start a thread on the fronts that I'm working on for this, and would ask any players in the game other than me not to read it.

Apocalypse World / Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« on: April 06, 2011, 01:37:50 PM »
Got the last character, Absinthe, played by Colleen:

Absinthe - Battle Babe
woman, luxwear, striking face, arresting eyes, gorgeous body.

Cool +3 Hard -2 Hot +1 Sharp +1 Weird +1

Visions of Death
Impossible Reflexes

2 custom weapons:
hand gun (2 harm close reload loud)
Ap ammo (+ap)
hi-powered (+1 harm)

Chain belt
hidden (+1 infinite)
spikes (+ 1 harm)

Dickson Hx +3
Doc Hx +3

Apocalypse World / Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« on: April 06, 2011, 12:51:21 PM »
Thanks for the clarifications, and the confidence, Paula.

Apocalypse World / Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« on: April 05, 2011, 12:52:43 PM »
I may have overstated things with the word "panic," but yeah.

I should mention that the whole roots thing came out of Dickson rolling and failing Fingers in Every Pie to get Balls back. The failure says it comes with "strings wicked attached," so I decided to be literal.

Apocalypse World / Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« on: April 05, 2011, 12:39:14 PM »
So, here's my experience of running the game: I was panicking and confused constantly. I am told this will change.

I'd read the book cover-to-cover over the course of a few days. I'd also played in a half dozen sessions of a game with Vincent, and played in a really successful con game at Gen Con.

When I started playing, I immediately forgot all of my moves. The MC foldout and the 1st Session book are helpful, but weren't sufficient for my newbieish state. I forgot what I could do with MC moves, what triggers them, etc. I still don't know because I haven't had time to do my 2nd session stuff, but I do plan on re-reading certain parts of the game.

So I didn't know what triggered my moves, or how to do them. Instead I focused on trying to figure out when to trigger PC moves and those principals I was able to remember.

I also felt bad because I spent a lot of time looking things up. I tried my best (and, I think succeeded) to tell them that there wouldn't be this much confusion as things went on.

Apocalypse World / Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« on: April 05, 2011, 12:28:24 PM »
Here's what happened in the game:

Balls was supposed to show up back home before dark (it's way more dangerous after dark; the plants are more aggressive), but failed to do so and it's getting very late. Dog Head, who is working outside to maintain the cleared perimeter around the Rout, pounds on the door and tells Absinthe that Balls is missing, and he hears Rolfball's motorcycle headed up the path. Absinthe assesses a charged situation and determines that Rolfball's gang is about 20 minutes away.

After about 10 minutes, while the people inside panic and start to get ready for what they expect to be some pretty awful shit, one of Rolfball's men who had run ahead of the others knocked on the front door. The Rout wouldn't let him in or talk to him, so he dropped a package in front of the door and fucked off. Margrave and Dickson went out to investigate.

What they found was a severed hand that looked a lot like Balls's, rooted to the dirt by the stump of the wrist and twitching every now and then like a dead frog being hit with electricity. Margrave pokes at it and I offer to let him open his brain to the psychic maelstrom. Matt declines, and instead starts pulling on the hand. I describe that it's connected to the earth with a grey/brown root-like structure and it's not easily coming up. Margrave yanks it as hard as he can, so I prompt Matt that he's trying to sieze the thing by force. He agrees, gets a partial hit, and leaves me harm to give. I decide instead to make him miss something:

As he pulls the hand out of the ground, the root structure resists and is yanked up and the pressure releases a plume of spores that makes everyone hack and cough and hide their eyes. As he yanks the hand the last bit of the way out of the dirt, a fist-sized leathery sack that glows with a green bioluminescence pops out and the hand is free. The sudden loss of tension causes him to fall and crush the pod under his knee without realizing it. The fluid inside the sac dissolves into his skin, leaving no trace. The hand is dead, all the twitching gone after that.

With that, Margrave and Absinthe switch places, and the two meet Rolfball when he arrives with a motorcycle pack, the members of which are all wearing heavily-concealing clothing, and can't be seen well in the darkness. A figure swaddled in a hole-ridden, mold-eaten tarp sits on the bitch seat of Rolfball's bike. Without raising his voice or being unpleasant, Rolfball gives the figure freedom, says he's got people now, and that he's going to take his payment soon. As the figure, who everyone takes to be Balls, disappears into the Rout, Absinthe notices (too late to stop him) that "his" hand is actually her sister's complete with a ring that the sister always wore, fused to the stump of a man's wrist.

Absinthe reads a charged situation again and determines that Balls is the most dangerous enemy to her right now.

I ended the session there.

Apocalypse World / Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« on: April 05, 2011, 12:06:43 PM »
Still no stats or anything for Absinthe, but here are the NPCs that got generated during the first session.
  • Ba: Dickson's best regular, an old man who sells Dickson pre-apocalyptic shit that he finds.
  • Balls: one of Dickson's working boys, missing at the start of the first session.
  • Been: Leads one of the nearby hardholds and wants in on Dickson's action.
  • Dog Head: A sweet, hideous, probably-retarded 12 year old boy who helps out around the Rout.
  • Fleece: A rail-thin, ghostly-pale prostitute who works for Dickson.
  • Gams: A madame who operates a brothel out of the other hardhold (not Been's). She fills the niches that Dickson won't, specializing in drugs and fetish services.
  • Joe's Girl: A biologically-male self-identified-as-female prostitute. I forget the details, but I remember there was a client who was outraged that Joe's Girl turned out to be a woman.
  • Mimi: A working girl that Dickson and Margrave failed to save from the "lake monster people." They had been tasked by Dickson's father to retrieve the girl, but arrived in time to see her pulled below the water.
  • Rolfball: 7' tall, very few teeth, a face like a ratty burlap sack, Rolfball feels he's owed for helping Dickson's place get established. He has been trying to get Balls given to him permanently as payment.
  • Toyota: I don't remember much about this character, though I think he or she was another hooker.

Apocalypse World / Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« on: April 04, 2011, 09:16:41 AM »
Got another PC in through email (this is a Skype game):

Doc Margrave III -- Physician for The Rout
Causal/Utility clothing
Male, Pretty Face, Hard Eyes, Spare Body

Stats:  Cool -1 / Hard +1 / Hot +0 / Sharp +2 / Weird +1

Moves: Touched by Death / Healing Touch

Angel Kit
Small Practical Weapon: Bone Saw ("Big Knife")
Oddments: "Strange Meat"
Fashion: Blood-stained "leather" apron (1 armor)

Hx: Dixon: (-1) / Absinthe: (-1)

Apocalypse World / [AP] Treepocalypse
« on: April 03, 2011, 08:55:52 PM »
The setting: The Rout, a secret brothel whose atmosphere offers its clients the finest remnants of the pre-apocalypse. The brothel is the ruin of Risley Residential College in Ithaca, NY. This was where (at least) one of the players ("Spiral Jacobs," aka Paula) lived when she went to Cornell University.

The apocalypse: All we know is that at some point, the trees decided to grow everywhere, grow virulently, aggressively, and quickly. Roads have to be constantly maintained and there are rumors of plant zombies roving the wilds. This rumor may grow out of the fact that if you sit still for 20 minutes or so, you've got plants growing on you, or it may be real.

(It's probably real.)

The cast:

Dickson, the Maestro'D, played by Paula, owns and operates the Rout. He inherited it from his dad within the past 5 years or so, when he died of syphilis.

Dickson is the only character I have the stats for: A man in vintage wear, with an expressive face, frank eyes, lean body, and playful hands. Looks like a Thin-White-Duke-era David Bowie. He's most attracted to Absinthe (see below).

Cool 0, Hard +1, Hot +2, Sharp +1, Weird -1, Moves: Fingers in every pie, everybody's got to eat

The Rout: offers sex as well as drinks and music, features intimacy, fantasy, luxury, and nostalgia. Its protection is everybody’s packing and secrecy, passwords, codes & signals, invites-only, vouching,
etc. Dickson takes care of his boys and girls.

Doc Margrave, the Angel, played by Matt, is a disturbing, advantage-taking, grinning maniac of a doctor. He's deeply weird and doesn't seem to understand fear. He makes his scratch by taking care of Dickson's employees and clients. He arrived in the Rout when Dickson's father was in charge, and he and Dickson worked together on the road a lot before Dickson took over the Rout.

Absinthe, the Battlebabe, played by Colleen, is the Rout's main muscle, and Dickson's right-hand girl. She arrived at the Rout after Dickson took over, looking for her sister. She got the prior bouncer fired and took his job over, and, if I remember correctly, gave up on finding her sister again. She dresses like a bygone-era prom queen, albeit one that brandishes a gigantic fuck-off magnum revolver with alarming casualness. And in case she wants to be subtle, there's a horrible spiked chain disguised as the dress's sash.

Other dramatis personae to come.

Apocalypse World / Re: Choosing names from the list
« on: April 02, 2011, 05:18:00 PM »
My gut feeling on the name list is "why wouldn't you use it?" because I'm a guy that likes to be told "this is what you have to do, make something with it." For example, in the only other AW series I played in, the Hardholder name list entry "Vega" made me think of the brothers that Michael Madsen and John Travolta play in the Quentin Tarantino movies. I got an idea for an urbane, suave sort of brutal thug. That name inspired me to suggest a character who'd set up a fiefdom of class, excess, and brutal efficiency in the ruins of the Luxor casino. All this inspiration before I moved on to the second list.

But when both Paula and another player, Matt, felt to varying degrees uncomfortable with having to choose a name from a list, I tried to sift out my emotional attachments and try to figure out the purpose that that rule might serve in the design.

I think the lists are there to give your Apocalypse World a unified feel, to give the many Apocalypse Worlds a bit of a common seed, to advertise to the fiction and the other players who your character is and what he's capable of, and to suggest what kind of Hardholder (or Angel, Battlebabe, or Maestro'D in this case) you want to be.

Also (and I think I said this at the time, but if not, I'm sorry), I don't think it's an accident that the very first thing you do as a non-MC player in this game is choose your name from a limited list. It sets you up very well for the way the game will work as things play out. You'll be forced to make a limited choice that you might not always like.

Of course, ultimately, I didn't want anyone to feel like they weren't having fun. Dickson and Doc Margrave certainly felt very apocalypcian (I pointed out that if someone wanted to be something like Jake Raiford, that would really spoil the mood and there was a whole playbook for that kind of thing). Paula got a little zealous in her offers to pick a name from the list, but I said that if she had formed an attachment to the character based on that name, and that to change the name would change her conception of the character, I didn't want to force her to do that.

So we kept the names and the game didn't feel unlike AW. In the future I'd still like to roll with "pick from a list" for the names, but I think I'll handle it like this next time if it comes up again.

Apocalypse World / Re: The "twinky" battlebabe
« on: March 31, 2011, 07:51:12 AM »
Will do. Character creation is tonight.

Pages: [1] 2 3